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Cosmetics and animal experimentation


Recently (on March 11, 2013) [1] the ban of the use of animals in experimentation in cosmetic products, and, by extension, the sale of these same products, has entered fully in force.

This is not a complete novelty, given that the ban is no more than the implementation of one of the goals contained in the recently published Real Decreto 53/2013, de 1 de febrero [Royal Decree 53/2013, of February 1] [2] in which the European Directive of March 11, 2003, emitted 10 years ago [3], is applied to Spain.

This deals with one of the aspects that will probably bring together a greater consensus among the public in general, relating to the experimentation on animals for the benefit of humans. The fact that, in order to prove the efficacy of a floor cleaner, of a shampoo, of a detergent or of a moisturizing cream, these products must be submitted to toxicity tests on laboratory animals is a source of public rejection. If this rejection is not more evident and further extended this is due to the lack of awareness of the reality of experimentation, its need, its ever stricter regulation and the formation of a new informed and objective citizen conscience.

In this sense, there have been pioneering companies in stopping tests on animals, in cosmetic products ("The Body Shop", for example), and in cleaning products (the brands "Bosque Verde" and "Deliplus", by "Mercadona", for example). More and more users look at the product label before buying to be sure that there has been no experimentation on animals. As such, more and more brands have stopped the tests on animals. A recent and powerful example, due to its quality and global recognition, comes from the Japanese company Shiseido, which, starting in 2009, was the focal point of the protests by international organizations, due to the use of animals in their experimentation protocols. Finally, their products will no longer be tested on animals starting in April 2013 [4].

What animal experimentation inspires in the form of popular rejection is inversely proportional to a lack of knowledge and the measures which, slowly but surely, are being applied by the Law.

Recently, legislative texts have prioritized animal welfare and the application of techniques that constitute an advance in the substitution of experiments in animals with ever more developed alternative techniques strictly demanded by the ethics committees which are required by new legislation to be in each center with animal experimentation. However, there still is a long road left to run in which we, fortunately, have already taken the first step.

From DA web Center we want to contribute so that the coverage the Law offers to animals in experimentation is known and to promote a much needed dialogue between scientists and jurists. For this reason, we have been publishing articles related to the topic [5] throughout the month and have included a commentary on the sentence by the Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia [6], referring to the center of Camarles, which is the focus of attention in the news and which highlights the need for a revision of the installations to fully put into force the latest legal regulations.

Teresa Giménez-Candela
Professor of Roman Law
Animal Law Professor
Autonomous University of Barcelona

[1] Directive 2003/15/CE introduced regulations relating to trials with animals in Directive 76/768/CEE on cosmetics. Consequentially, the experimentation with animals in the Union has already been prohibited since 2004 for cosmetic products and since 2009 for cosmetic ingredients ("testing ban"). Since March 2009, the sale of cosmetic products which contained ingredients tested on animals is also prohibited ("sales ban"). Regarding the more complex consequences for human health (toxicity due to repeated administration, including the cutaneous sensitivity and carcinogenicity, as well as the toxicity for the reproductive function and toxicokinetics) the date of sales prohibition was extended on March 11, 2013.
[2] Real Decreto 53/2013 de 1 de febrero, [Royal Decree 53/2013, from February 1), in which the basic applicable regulations for the protection of animals used in experimentation and for other scientific goals are established.
[3] Vid. Internal doc
[4] Vid. Oipa
[5] Vid. Patri VERGARA, Nueva legislación sobre la protección de los animales utilizados en investigación (New Legislation on the Protection of Animals Used in Research); Maria GONZÁLEZ LACABEX, La ciencia, también de su lado (Science, Also on their Side); Martí PUMAROLA, Animales e investigación en neuropatología veterinaria (Animals and Research in Veterinary Neuropathology)
[6] Vid. Anna MULÀ, Experimentación con animales: Sentencia del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña nº 315, de 31/3/2006 (Experimentation with Animals: Sentence of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia no. 315, of March 31, 2006)

keys law, legal , case law , animal

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